I love my Otto #11 5/2016 pants. Except for the lantern leg part. Now that I’ve got all my winter pants out, I discovered that I have 5 pairs with a lantern leg variation. I don’t like to wear them. They are too casual. Too much like sweat pants. So why do I love to see this style on other ladies? I don’t know. But I do like the fit of these #11’s and want to make them the right length without the lantern part.
I pull out the pattern and after some self-debate add 4″ length to the leg at the bottom. I continue the inseam and side seams at the same angle so it may add a little circumference at the hem. A little, I can offset later. I walk the seams because I’ve found every alteration is a built-in opportunity for error.
Then I choose a fabric. Not too sure about this fabric. It’s a firm Ponte which should be good for pants but seems a little light for pants, especially winter pants. Still it will make a decent muslin even if the black photos poorly. It’s already fit, right? So the question should be: have I created the right leg length for me and maybe does adding leg length have an effect on drape.
I cut the fabric and start the relatively quick sew. It fits, right? So I continue confidently as if I making a 4th pair. I top stitch a faux-fly because I like the look and also top stitch a faux front-pocket. I like the look of these details but don’t want to spend much time. The more I handle this fabric the more I think it’s not a good choice for pants but maybe OK for a muslin and even winter long johns. I should add that it has 25% stretch. My previous fabric had 20 and 30%. Being right in the middle of that stretch range, I expect the pants to feel nice. They don’t.
Even after scooping the crotch, they look weird:
I think it’s safe to say they are too tight and that the crotch, even double scooped, is too short. This is just an ugly pair of pants complete with camel toe. To my disgust the hem circumference is about 20″. I’m continually seeking that pattern with a slim leg of about 16-18″. I can do better with PP113 and the Eureka’s The only redeeming feature in this pair I see is that I may have added the right length for the leg. Now stitched up, I truly hate this fabric. Don’t even want to wear it as long johns. I’m wondering how I can avoid a future purchase. Part of me says, I really should finish this pair of pants. Learn what it takes to correct the pattern. Another part of me says, be done with it. Quit ruining fabric. Go back to the TNT’s and work them. I made this post just so in the future I can remind myself why I quit using the pattern 1) don’t like sweat suit type pants; and 2) the last version (this one) sucks.
After finishing the brown pair, I begin to wonder how quickly I could make pants using this pattern. I selected a lovely black ponte from my stash. It looks good even when stretched 40% and recovers in a split second. Incredible fabric. Hancocks has closed so I have little hope of ever finding it again. Again, lightly pressed and steamed then laid out and cut. Did I mention that Otto 2016/5 #11 is incredibly fabric conservative? I had 2 yards of this 62″ wide fabric. I’m left with 3/4 yard –enough for shorts next year or a variety of neck bindings this year.
This could be a serger garment. I serged the inseams and crotch; serge finished the side seams. I stitched the side seams at 1/2″ double the 1/4″ previously used for the stable knit. I felt that the greater stretch warranted a deeper seam.
The TALBOTS WAISTBAND Join the elastic in a circle. Serge one edge of the elastic to the pant waist. Fold down to the inside. The elastic will no longer be visible. It’s covered by the right side of the pant that has been turned to the inside. Top stitch along the the serged edge i.e. the now lower edge where you attached the elastic to the pant waist. I use a narrow zig zag when top stitching on stretch fabrics; and yes this waistband can be used on woven/nonstretch fabrics. The key is starting with a waist that will slip up over your hips without needing a closure such as side or front zipper. 2nd key, is that the pant must fit before attaching the waistband. I suppose the elastic could be un-serged and the pant refit but I’m not going to do it.
I learned this waistband finish from Pamela’s Patterns DVD. She found it on a shopping trip to Talbots and therefore calls it the Talbots Waistband. Since I learned it from her, that’s what I call it. I love that it is quick, easy and beautifully finished.
After the waistband I added the cuffs. I serged the seams, folded WST, lightly pressed and then basted the two raw edges together. 3 raw edges are difficult for me to keep aligned. Unlike that Hi-End Designer fabric, this Ponte stretched magnificantly. The leg and the cuff serged together easily. Time till done? Includes finding the fabric, determining stretch, cutting, loading 2 machines with thread and all the sewing. I did not do any fitting. Nope, didn’t stop even once to check. Total time to pics: ONE hour, twenty MINUTES. I mean these are pants I can have right now. Going some place and need a new pair? All I need is an hour and half (need 10 min for a quick shower).
Fit? Still think I need to scoop the crotch just 1/4″. Also may need to increase the hip dart. Won’t do that until I see what scooping the crotch does.
Once the muslin fits, it’s time for a ‘real’ garment, right?
From my stash I chose a 2-year old Hancock fabric that was marked “High End Designer”. It has a ribbed appearance but low stretch. However, I wanted the same stretch as the test fabric and it was perfect. I will say when purchased, I wondered about it. Located on the same shelf as the bottom weight Ponte’s, I wondered if it could have been misfiled but the weight truly was good for pants. Also might have made a very warm cardigan. Properly lined and interfaced, a great jacket. But as I said, I wanted to use it now because its stretch was 10.25%. Like the muslin fabric, I could pull really hard and make that percentage go up. I prefer to back it down so it looks like something I’d like to wear. I don’t remember the fiber content. It does remind me of the Woolray yarn I bought in the 80/90’s for machine knitting pants. That stuff was wonderful. Good stretch. Excellent recovery. Priced so the home MK’er could afford a pair of Jill St John or similar hi-end designer pants. (Back then I think those pants retailed about $200 and we were paying $20 per cone. Always needed part of a second cone, though).
I pressed lightly counting on the steam to help smooth out any bubbles or slight wrinkles. Partly that’s why I think it at least has a rayon content. Polyester or acrylic does not cooperate with low temperature, light steam. At least in my sewing room it hasn’t. Laid out my 3 pattern pieces and cut fabric. I serged inseams, side seams and crotch but basted the waistband for the first try-on. To my delight, it’s darn near perfect.
I may want to scoop the crotch a little. The CB dips down slightly and I feel it tugging on my rear. I’m not surprised. I’m the one with front/back crotch anomaly i.e. my crotch isn’t horizontal to the ground. Not just that the back and front crotch lengths are different but my front crotch is higher than the back. Typically, I need to scoop the crotch just a little. Adding length under the waistband doesn’t help. Instead it will develop little dips. Add at the hip and the back of leg mess recurs. Nope, the adjustment for me had got to be in the well of the crotch.
For the first time I added the cuffs which I think we’re calling ‘Lanterns’. What a pain. I had to cut a second set. Originally I had added 1/2″ to the cuff side seams. I added 1.5″ and the cuffs still wouldn’t stretch to meet the leg. I fought the issue with my serger, breaking a needle in the process and ripping out one half the leg seaming. Finally eased at the SM and finished the seam at the serger. Finishing was absolutely necessary. Oh, I forgot to mention I’ve never seen a ‘knit’ that raveled like this one. Making me question if it really was a knit. For the second leg/cuff, I got out the clear elastic and gathered the leg edge first before serging. I also basted the two raw edges of the cuff together before serging because on the first leg part of the fight was keeping the 3 raw edges aligned with the differential kicked up to 2 and tugging to try to feed the fabrics. But I finished and I’m super pleased except for one thing. These are winter pants! The fabric is that dang heavy. I won’t be able to wear them until sometime in November!
Note: Leg width above cuff is 19″. Cuff edge, with my 1.5″ seam allowancess finishes at 14″ . Better try on that cuff before serging it to the pant leg. Nothing like a pant you can’t pull up over your foot.
I’ve fit 3 Otto pants patterns but it’s always a struggle. Needed several muslins and at least one of them looked dreadful on me even after fitting. (The Carrot Pant.) But this latest issue 2016/5, had an interesting looking leg. I’ve been looking for that slim leg which is not body conscious nor does it flare at the knee or ankle. I also prefer a waistband either at or just below my natural waist–no plumber’s butt for me. I’ve seen a few patterns that come close, but they’re always issued by companies whose draft I can never fit (Kwik Sew, McCalls etc). So when this Otto design posted:
I knew immediately I wanted to try it but I wasn’t using my normal methods. Burda and Otto seem to like a closer fit than me; and since I’m in between sizes, I chose one size larger (48) than the recommended. I located Sheet C, traced the pattern pieces and extended the leg pieces as instructed. I tried comparing the just traced pieces with Eleanor, a knit-fabric, yoga-pant, type pattern which fits me (it took 6 muslins). Looking at the pics…
…should tell you why I always have to fit from scratch. My crotch and legs never come close to looking like the new draft. I’ve found I can’t just transfer my crotch to the new draft. Found that out the hard way with lost time and precious fabric. Can’t just measure crotch depth, leg length or ease. I know there are people out there who always transfer “their crotch” and claim the pattern fits perfectly. I have 3 great fitting pants patterns to which I did little at all ( TJ906 The Eureka and Pamela Pattern 113). Each of the crotches are vastly different but each somehow fits. It is the “whole being much greater than the parts” type situation. I know a new pants pattern means I’m fitting from scratch and will need several muslins.
Otto recommends adding 5/8″ equivalent to all seam allowances. I think that’s a waste at the crotch and inseam. I added 1/4″ — enough for my serger seam– everywhere except the side seams. I added 1″ to both front and back side seams. Knowing that I’m 3″ shorter than the standard figure, I shortened the leg above the knee by making a 3/4″ tuck (total 1.5″ length removed).
Also very familiar with my elastics, I cut a 34″ length of 1″ elastic.
I chose a remnant for my first test garment. With 10.25% stretch, it just barely makes it into the moderate stretch zone. I can stretch 10″ to 11.5 if I pull really hard –but I don’t like to wear pants that are pulled really hard. I laid the parts out carefully and marked knee (both sides) and hip notches. Then I went to watch TV.
I didn’t write down everything she said. Some of her fixes don’t apply to me; others I don’t care about. Also Peggy doesn’t cover every fitting variation. I don’t recall a single mention of asymmetrical hips, front-back low anomaly, etc , etc. Pretty much she seems to think no matter the issue, fix it during musling.
So I cut my fabric; basted the pieces together, including inserting the elastic. I can’t tell how pants fit on my body until the waistband is right. To my delight, the crotch and waist both snuggled right into place. No need to make crotch adjustments, however I could see VPL. My first alteration was to release the side seams 1/4″. With Fit 02 the front looked really good. Below the knee? Excellent. Butt was OK. Below my butt was the normal mass of wrinkles. I pinched back there as best I could. Felt like the full width of my thumb. Peggy says you can do this yourself but it is difficult to pinch and look over your shoulder into a mirror and decide if you’re helping or hurting. I placed a pin at the furthest protuberance of my rear so I would know where to take my 1/2″ tuck. That was Fit 03.
I’m going to show all the pics of the back right now, but keep in mind Fit 01 (out of the envelope) is not pictured and still to share is Fit 3 and 4.
Fit 03, (2nd from the left and the 1/2″ dart across hip) looked so good that I immediately pinched at the top of the inseam which also looked like a 1/2″ tuck was needed. When sewing I was reminded of a horse shoe and I’m calling it the horse shoe dart. I started this dart at the front side seam gradually increased from 0 to 1/2″ by the inseam; continued stitching across the back decreasing to 0 by the time I stopped at the back side-seam. I did this on only 1 leg, the right leg, Fit 04 (3rd from left, 2nd from right). Fit 04 looked really good but not as clean as Peggy achieved. I pinched some more at the hip and again and the inseam but looking in the mirror, I just couldn’t tell. The only solution seemed to be repeat those darts increasing the depth. Fit 05, I increased the hip dart to 3/4″. That’s it. I’d wear that leg (pic on the right).
Peggy recommends opening your muslin,making it flat and using that as your pattern. First off, you can see my muslin is still going to have wrinkles and bubbles. More important to me, my storage spaces already over flow. I prefer to have a very thin pattern to store vs that spongy, space-hogging, knit. I transfer the changes back to the tissue. At that time I also trimmed the front, side, seam-allowance from 1″ to 3/4″; walked seams and filled in any gaps that occurred when the inseam was darted. I’m thinking I can use this pattern for a stable knit and even a stretch woven. It might also be used on something like a ponte and slinky by taking in the side and waist seams. I do want to share the differences to the pattern once it is fit. First will be the original. 2nd the fitted pattern.
I’m amazed at how much the angles changed.
A note about time involved, roughly 8 hours. It could have been less. Pinching fabric and looking over my shoulder was an insecure event. I may have spent too much time with my back side turned towards the mirror. I always followed the mirror sessions with pics because that’s the only way I can really tell if I’m making a difference. A good difference, preferably. Every time I take pics, I run upstairs to look at them on the computer. I always seem to have short conversations with DH and just take a quick peek at what they’re doing on SG. I’ll admit that I might cut hours off the fitting time if I’d stay in the sewing/stash rooms but I enjoy the other 2 activities as well.
I’m really pleased with both Otto’s draft and Peggy’s fitting instructions. I had to see her in action several times. I think it was the Aug 08, 2016 broadcast where she fit 4 different ladies, 4 different patterns; the entire time discussing what she was doing and why. The notes helped me when I got into the sewing room. I think that my knit fabric could have made fitting easier, however, Peggy did fit at least one of the ladies in a non-stretch woven. I’m hopeful this is a process that I could use in the future.
*********SUMMARY TISSUE CHANGES
1/4″ SA except front side seam 3/4; back side seam 1″